Danny, a young Sri Lankan man is determined to escape the brutality of his homeland’s security forces and a manipulative father. He pays a lot of money to start a dubious course at an Australian college but when he drops out, disillusioned that it is just a way to exploit migrant workers, he makes the desperate choice to stay as an ‘illegal’ and take his chances making a living as a cleaner and hoping he can avoid detection.
Smart, charming and hard-working, Danny is liked by his clients but lives in constant fear of being deported. His luck holds for three years but then he realises he has vital evidence to convict a murderer. He knows he should go to the police but he also knows this will inevitably lead to his deportation. What should he do?
Adiga brilliantly takes the reader inside the mind of an illegal immigrant and his everyday experience in a strange culture. Danny is a beguiling character and the plot grips the reader through the course of one day revealing the hypocrisies and abuses of power which stack the odds against Danny and bring to life the news headlines and the growing, intractable political issue of immigration.
(review by Andrew)